Finding Balance with Rapid Innovation

Tackling innovation is no easy feat. It involves a company’s most precious resources: time, money, and brainpower.

When it comes to tackling big innovations, the strategy gets even more delicate. While everyone is working to innovate the big idea, smaller innovations can keep people engaged in the whole innovation process.

Nicolas Bry, a senior VP at Orange Innovation Group, is an expert on rapid innovation, an approach for speeding up the traditional innovation process. With it, large organizations can improve processes, experiment in new markets, and simply be more agile.

Rapid Innovation , as Bry teaches it, has four parts:

  1. An agile, autonomous unit dedicated solely to innovation
  2. Innovation expertise
  3. Alignment with group innovation strategy
  4. A module that is easily accepted back into the company, through an API letting others build value on your platform

These four elements work together to create a place where employees can speed up their interactions to come up with new ideas.

In addition to the four elements of rapid innovation, Bry values creative tension in the process. This is “the idea that creativity is more efficient when it acts within a specific framework and scope,” Bry said. He advocates assigning deadlines to innovation projects to give them scope.

“Sometimes a team can go wherever they want, whenever they want,” he says. “But that doesn’t always help.” Bry stresses that there needs to be a balance when delivering something. The key to producing innovations in a timely manner is defining the challenge the team has to solve, asking specific questions, and establishing a specific time frame.

Amazon is a perfect example of a company that evolves to deliver innovation in a timely manner. Bry says, “Amazon radically and regularly changes their business model year after year.” The ultimate goal is using rapid innovation to deliver innovation with a strong impact on the market.

Rapid innovation is yet another method by which to create new products and services to set your company apart from competitors. It begins with defining your goals and building an innovation team. Next, match management’s goals for innovation with the goals of front-line employees and start working on projects. Test your products and get feedback to improve them. By implementing rapid innovation Bry says you’ll still be achieving innovative success, just at faster rate than your competitors.

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